Owning a military vehicle has become more common in the last few years. For new military vehicle owners in Canada, you may be wondering if it is legal to drive your new rig on the streets.
Military vehicles that meet certain regulations are street legal in Canada. Military vehicles from the U.S. must first be successfully imported and registered. Importing the vehicle into Canada requires a thorough inspection for compliance with the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
Military vehicles in compliance with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act are only street legal in certain parts of Canada. Learn how to register your military vehicle in Canada and where to drive it below!
Military Vehicles in Canada
Like the United States, Canada has certain restrictions on what vehicles can be driven on public roads. Another similarity to the United States is that these restrictions vary depending on the province (or state) you are in.
All Canadian provinces require automobiles to meet the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. Vehicles that do not comply with these regulations by the set deadline will be exported.
Vehicles are required to meet certain standards for seating capacity, vehicle emissions, and gross vehicle weight rating. An inspector will verify that the vehicle meets these requirements (as well as others) before it can be registered and licensed.
Vehicles that do meet the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations are listed on Transport Canada’s Vehicle Admissibility list. View the Vehicle Admissibility list here!
If the vehicle does not meet the regulations it will not be registered and will be exported back to the United States. However, most military vehicles can be modified to comply with the regulations and are then registered in Canada for street use.
Once the vehicle passes inspection it can be registered and driven on most public roads. However, Quebec has some of its own restrictions regarding “military-type” vehicles and their use on public roads.
Within the province of Quebec, most military vehicles are considered off-road vehicles and are therefore not legal for use on public roadways. Even Canadian military vehicles are not permitted on the streets in Quebec. Although restrictions are in place against these vehicles, some continue to drive them locally.
No matter what province you are looking to drive your military vehicle in, it will need to be insured. Because some insurance companies will not cover these types of vehicles, this is an added layer of difficulty you must overcome before driving on public roads.
Luckily, there are several insurance companies throughout the nation willing to insure your vehicle. Check with your current insurance provider to see if they insure military vehicles.
How to Import a Military Vehicle to Canada
If you plan on purchasing a military vehicle from the United States and importing it to Canada, registering it in Canada will be the easy part.
Crossing the border is hard enough without bringing a large military vehicle with you. The process of getting your newly purchased vehicle approved from import and actually across the border can take several weeks.
Most suggest planning for at least a month a between purchasing and transporting your vehicle across the border.
Before you cross the border there will be a series of tasks you must complete. These tasks include verifying vehicle admissibility, branding history (record of accidents), modifications and inspections, and many more.
Find all the documents you need to fill out before importing a vehicle from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles here!
At least three business days before transporting the vehicle across the border send a certified copy of the vehicle’s title and bill of sale. Be sure to send these papers to the crossing you will be passing through. This paperwork can be delivered by hand or mailed.
The information on your title and bill of sale need to match perfectly or there will be an issue at the border.
As you cross the border, be prepared for a thorough search of the vehicle. A military vehicle crossing the border raises a few eyebrows. Make sure everything in the vehicle complies with border restrictions to avoid serious consequences.
Once into Canada, there will be a series of forms for you to fill out. Once this paperwork is filled out you are free to head home!
Before you can register your vehicle, the Registrar of Imported Vehicles must forward you a completed version of Form 2 within 10 days of you crossing the border. If you do not receive the forms within 10 days, call the Registrar to check the status.
Review the Registrar of Imported Vehicles Compatibility List to see what modifications you should expect to make after entering Canada. You can also take the vehicle to a local inspection station to find out what changes or repairs need to be made.
Do not modify your vehicle prior to crossing the border as this makes it inadmissible and will not be permitted to cross the border.
After passing inspection you are finally ready to begin the process of registering the vehicle in your province. Bring all of your paperwork to the inspection and licensing in case someone requests to see a random document. This will help minimize your trips to these stations.
Learn more about the process of importing a vehicle to Canada from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles here!
You can avoid the hassle of having to approve the transport of the vehicle by having a third party do the work for you.
Read GovPlanet’s resources on importing vehicles purchased to Canada here.
If you are looking at importing a military vehicle (or any vehicle for that matter) from a country other than the United States, chances are it will not be permitted to import. Although the United States and Canada have similar Motor Vehicle Regulations, other nations vary.
Compare the foreign vehicle to the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations before attempting to import it.
Before purchasing any vehicle outside of Canada, check with local officials to see if the vehicle will be approved for import. If you wait to do this until the purchase is made final you risk owning a vehicle stuck in another country than you.